indian rovers? - andy n
have just read in the press that the next generation small rover may well be designed and built in india, i have nothing at all against india or its people and this is verygood news for them, but it seems a real tragedy that the once mighty british motor industry ends up in this way and i suppose bodes badly for the future of britains manufacturing industry generally (or whats left of it) i just wonder what people like lyons,healey,morris,turner etc etc would have made of it all!
indian rovers? - AngryJonny
I think this has been covered here before.

Rover are going to purchase the CityRover from Indian car company Tata for next-to-no money, add some extra body trims and a few gadgets and badge it as a Rover.
indian rovers? - 3500S
They are already being manufactured, it's based on the Indica V2 with suspension tweaks more suited to European roads and also improved levels of trim and equipment. The TATA plant is all the ex-Nissan Adelaide plant and the workforce are all Nissan trained. The CityRover has had a number of very favourable reviews including some first drives. It's due to go on sale shortly.

Currently TATA Pune does all the paint work for all Mercedes and it's quality standards are the highest outside Germany.

As for the next generation small Rover, as far as I'm aware nothing has been decided yet but it could well be a collabouration between TATA and MGR for an Indica/25 replacement. Whether it's a platform collabouration or a full outsourced manufacture it remains to be seen. Longbridge is not short of capacity either but MGR don't have the R&D funds to finance a whole new platform from scratch hence RDX60 using a cut down 75 platform not too unlike the Alfa 146/156.

I'd imagine it would be a platform collabouration, TATA want to make more cars for the Indian market and I can't see how they can make high volumes for the Indian market and also an MGR variant for the European market.
indian rovers? - 3500S
They are already being manufactured, it's based on the Indica V2 with suspension tweaks more suited to European roads and also improved levels of trim and equipment. The TATA plant is all the ex-Nissan Adelaide plant and the workforce are all Nissan trained. The CityRover has had a number of very favourable reviews including some first drives. It's due to go on sale shortly.

Currently TATA Pune does all the paint work for all Mercedes and it's quality standards are the highest outside Germany.

As for the next generation small Rover, as far as I'm aware nothing has been decided yet but it could well be a collabouration between TATA and MGR for an Indica/25 replacement. Whether it's a platform collabouration or a full outsourced manufacture it remains to be seen. Longbridge is not short of capacity either but MGR don't have the R&D funds to finance a whole new platform from scratch hence RDX60 using a cut down 75 platform not too unlike the Alfa 146/156.

I'd imagine it would be a platform collabouration, TATA want to make more cars for the Indian market and I can't see how they can make high volumes for the Indian market and also an MGR variant for the European market.
indian rovers? - Burnout2
I hope it works out for MGR. By all accounts, the CityRover is far from the hideous lash-up that it might have been, and has been given a decent engine. MGR also appear to have got the pricing right, and shed the long-standing delusion that they're pushing a premium brand, upmarket & sporting aspirations now reserved for the MG badge.

Platform sharing & collaborative projects are the obvious way to go for a skint not-very-mass manufacturer with falling sales and market share. Fortunately, the 75 platform is sufficiently modern and adapatable to be up to the job.

There's no reason why MGR shouldn't continue to have a UK manufacturing presence, but if the price of their survival as a volume producer is overseas assembly - and remember how tight the margins are on small budget cars - then I'm all for it.
indian rovers? - Hugo {P}
This is just another example of UK exporting manufacturing for cheaper labour etc.

I recently read an article in the National Geographic about "slave labour". I hope that the spin offs from this manufacturing venture is increased wealth in these countries that can be distributed amongst the community, thereby removing the market for families to have to get their children to work of debts etc.

Hugo
indian rovers? - 3500S
The income and consumption multipliers do not know barriers based on culture or colour of people's skin.

It's interesting, there was a documentary on the Indian economy recently and it featured Ratan Tata and his desire to make an indigenous car for India. He's spent a fortune so far by Indian standards on plant, factories and his workforce. Trainees to the car plant start in the time honoured way as apprentices and are fully trained up in a way not too dissimilar to the UK practices.

I hope it's not a case of jobs lost at Longbridge, they are installing the lines for RDX60 and tooling at present and volumes look like they are holding up fairly well. CityRover is a very clever branding exercise and for anyone who has read about the head scratching over what to call Rover's 1947 utility vehicle would have got the reasoning for the name 'City Rover' straight away.

CityRover - a budget single brand
Rover - premium mass market like VW
MG - 'You're mother wouldn't like it'

indian rovers? - THe Growler
There is nothing wrong in exporting manufacturing or outsourcing to take advantage of lower labour costs elsewhere in the world. It's a perfectly sound business decision. It is part of staying competitive, indeed staying in busines to being you and me the products we want at the price we want, be they cars or DVD players. Established foreign corporations (and I'm not talking about the Taiwan Chinese and Korean smaller companies who outsource say to the Philippines and Vietnam) bring with them all manner of downstream community benefits to these countries along with mere employment per se.

If you want to find slave labour and sweatshop exploitation don't look to foreign firms, look to indigenous employers. The worst exploiters of these poor people are their own countrymen.




indian rovers? - tunacat
The indigenous UK motor industry has been mucked about with for half a century. Austin, Wolseley, Morris, Rover, Riley, Standard, Jaguar, Triumph, MG... And goodness knows what happened during that British Aerospace period. I'd be very sad if MGR disappeared without trace - I'd rather they were owned by Tata but at least survived, like Lotus by Proton (IIRC).

There are some skilled people at MGR - they did some good work transforming the Rovers into the MGs, and isn't the K-series engine pretty sorted now? Let's hope they do a similar job on the Indica.

It's a funny sector though, that "new for £6+k" price region: Do you try to stretch to a stripped-out-spec Polo, or get a dinky but specced-up Charade, or an "is this price a misprint?" Kia Rio ?
But do you then feel you have to make excuses to justify your purchase to others? So is sales success more likely for something that's radically unpretentious about its cheapness, like a 2CV, that says "To hell with it- I'm practical, and having a laugh a minute!" Or have those days gone? Or could we do with just such a new entrant?

Certainly a 5 door supermini with an 85hp 1.4 is pretty darn good for £6500, and it looks relatively classy in the shiny/chromey Rover style.
If the CityRover gets performance and handling beyond 'that-price' expectations, it'll deserve to sell well to those who want a good drive without spending much, and therefore need no justification to those in the know.

But if it's mediocre, I just worry that it might soon decline into the 'Eastbourne pensioner' image, like the Metro/100 did, when or if the roomy and funky new Fiat Panda arrives on these shores (mind you, there's another company in trouble).

indian rovers? - ajit
Instead of "india took my job away" mantra's, lets look at a win-win situ for Tata and Rover, Tata can build small cars but lack the finesse in the finer points of productising. Rover have helped them immensely. Tata have no mid size car. Rover have no diesel engie or SUVs. Tata has access to the next biggest market. Rover makes a good springboard into Europe. India is the next big auto market. Rover needs volume. India is a slow developing market but reliable. China - you saw what happened to Brilliance. Tata (as a company) has been around longer than Austin/ Rover etc.

Win Win is the game
indian rovers? - v0n
I must say I was always a little confused by UK car industry politics. I always thought keeping a home brand only made sense if somehow it benefited both buying and selling parties. For example - why keep Vauxhall if importing better built German Opels would be cheaper and the cars would be more reliable to future owners? Well, to support local market, someone said to me. To secure jobs in UK. But then we have the Rover/Tata cooperation resulting in a small car of bland and uninspiring looks, very nineties and already unneccessarily suspitious to general public because of its "Made in India" tag. And to make things worse the car was preadvertised by "around £6000" mark. I'm just lost. Even if this car costs £5000 for the most basic version what is the point of outsourcing something as far as India if you can't make it any more attractive than all the European built Fiats Seicentos, Puntos, Pandas and Ford Ka's we already have in sub £5500 range. "Around £6000"? Would you really pick Tata Indica over the Almera Pulse for £6700 on the picture to the right? I didn't think so.
indian rovers? - Dan J
For example - why keep Vauxhall if importing better built
German Opels would be cheaper and the cars would be more
reliable to future owners?


You have got to be joking on both counts. GM cars out of Germany have been utter rubbish though I think things are improving with the current Vectra. Much more likely to get a satisfactory car that was built in the UK.

As for cheaper? Both Vauxhall and Ford are starting to pay the price of having manufacturing plants in such costly areas such as Germany. How long that situation will continue for we will see. VW and Mercedes were very quick to move into much cheaper labour markets for their own lower end vehicles...
indian rovers? - pd
As for cheaper? Both Vauxhall and Ford are starting to
pay the price of having manufacturing plants in such costly areas
such as Germany. How long that situation will continue for
we will see. VW and Mercedes were very quick to
move into much cheaper labour markets for their own lower end
vehicles...


There is an interesting article in this week's Autocar re. VW. Basically, they admit that they are making virtually no money at all on German built VW's and if they are to continue to make them in Germany then prices will have to rise above competitors.

indian rovers? - Dan J
There is an interesting article in this week's Autocar re. VW.
Basically, they admit that they are making virtually no money at
all on German built VW's and if they are to continue
to make them in Germany then prices will have to rise
above competitors.


Ford are having very similar issues as well...
indian rovers? - peterb
I've just (4 hours ago) heard a talk by Anatole K (economics editor of the Times). He showed a graph of employment costs with Germany way above everyone else (around 50% above US). Hence why VW make little on home built cars.
indian rovers? - flatfour
About 6 years ago at the motor show NEC, there was a TATA stand with alot of turban clad Indian gentlemen showing off their cars.
There was a 4x4 I distincly remember, the build quality was very poor, I later found out my cousin had purchased one of these, she only kept it for a few months as it didn't anywhere near match her expectations.
I still have doubts about Indian engineering, I once bought some engineering equipment because it was cheaper than the british equivalent, the threads were poorly cut, the metal used was what the trade calls "monkey metal" the whole exercise was a total waste of time.
I wish Rover well, but sorry I'm not going to buy anything that is made or finished in India, maybe thats why I feel that the Merc C class is not worthy of the bagde.
indian rovers? - Obsolete
I do agree that the "Made in India" badge won't add allure. I too have images of goods made on old machinery with poor finish and images tend to stick.

This might change if the car is good but I don't want to be an early adopter. After all it is not long since "Made in Britain" conjured up images of rubbish, whereas these days I am happy to buy British goods as I know the quality is good. And from the specs it doesn't look as if they are throwing in a lot for the money so the real competitors are not VW and Ford but Daewoo and Hyundai who are producing very decent little runabouts.
indian rovers? - eMBe {P}
Note: Capitals and punctuation added by eMBe. Replying strictly to the original thread -
Have just read in the press that the next generation small Rover may well be designed and built in India, .. >>

Good for Rover (they think), and good for India to claw back some of the colonial looting

>>.. I have nothing at all against India or its people ..>>
Good for you.
.. but it seems a real tragedy that the once mighty British motor industry ends up in this way .. >>

You are decades behind the times here.

>>.. and I suppose bodes badly for the future of Britain's manufacturing industry generally (or whats left of it) ..
As I said, the writing has been on the wall for a long time.
.. I just wonder what people like Lyons, Healey, Morris, Turner etc etc would have made of it all! >>

Nothing. They would have been smart enough (like Dyson today) to realise that you have to move with the times.

It is no good being nostalgic, or xenophobic. The world economy is rapidly changing. Companies that wish to survive have to change. As example, remember that M&S used to sell only British made products, and was forced to change out of competitive necessity, and now virtually has no British products.

Rover is making an attempt to so, but I fear that due to the perceived or alleged shoddy engineering in India, these Indian made products will face the same or greater problems faced by Rover now.

At the end of the day, the success or failure of Rover lies in the hands of motorists. If you really love Rover so much, you will buy Rover - regardless of quality, style, or country of manufacture.
indian rovers? - Aprilia
Its quite amusing to hear these tales of VW not making much money in Germany and it being too expensive to make cars in Germany. In the current climate they are doing very well to make any money at all.

I spend a fair bit of time working in Germany -basically 'Germany works'.
The infrastructure is good, the training and skills are good. The German rates of corporation tax we see quoted here are high - what you are not told is that the German government offers a raft of 'rebates' that drop corporation tax down to UK levels.
Similarly, German income tax is often quoted as being higher than UK income tax - but of course no one mentions 'National Insurance' when talking about UK taxes!

To cap it all German productivity is in the region 30-40% higher than the UK. Let's not forget that the hard-nosed US bosses of Ford and GM have moved substantial volumes of production out of the UK and over to Germany - Russelsheim (GM) was already a massive plant and is being expanded further at the expense of Luton. Take a trip on the train from Frankfurt to Mainz (it passes through the plant) and notice that it stops at three railway stations inside the plant!

As to the 'labour cost' issue - well I got involved in outsourcing of production of some GM parts to a plant in Nysa (SW Poland). Sure the labour was cheap, but there were so many problems with quality, interruption of supply, worker skills etc. that it was actually costing more to make components there than in Germany.
Let's also not forget that those producers in low-cost countries like Korea (Daewoo? Kia?) and Malaysia (Proton?) have had far more than their fair share of problems.

I'm not saying that the German industry is not without its problems - they do have many problems, but they are working on them and will come through. The German motor industry is not about to go the way of the UK motor industry. The great and the good will be able to continue buying high quality German products - whilst at the same time explaining to the rest of us what a mess the German economy is in.
indian rovers? - slowdriver
I think has been a lot nonesense talked about the Indian Rover.

At the moment Rover cannot afford to develop their own small car, so its case of the Indian Rover or nothing.

For the numbers Rover intend to sell It would not be viable to set up production in this country, however the CityRover should help improve Rovers financial position helping to secure the future of the existing British workforce.

Any future development with Tata would reduce development costs. Admmitidly in the long term it might mean that any Rover 25 replacement might not be made in this country, but that should be offset with higher sales of the Rover 45 replacement when it finally arrives.

As for the Car itself I do indeed think there are questions about.

1. Will the quality be good enough.

2. It has a 1.4 engine but overall not as well equipped as many of its rivals.

3. Fairly SoSo looks on both the outside ans inside.

4. New competition from the Fiat Panda, Citreon C2 if your not fussed about 5 doors, etc.
indian rovers? - pd
I don't think anyone was suggesting the German motor industry will go the same way as the UK one - it's about where you actually assemble the cars.

Even if VW ended up assmebling most of its cars outside Germany, it wouldn't stop all the high value research, development and high cost components being made in Germany or stop VW being a German company. A VW would still be "German". How many UK Mercedes C-Class buyers think they drive a South African car or BMW Z4 or X5 drivers think they drive an American one?

indian rovers? - Aprilia
Vehicle assembly costs are actually a small part of the overall cost of a vehicle. There are very few vehicles where the assembly labour costs exceed $1000. On some upmarket vehicles the advertising cost per vehicle sold can exceed that amount. Add in the cost of shipping components to 'remote' locations (e.g. South Africa) and the cost of overseas assembly can be higher than 'home' assembly.

One of the reasons that manufacturers often choose to manufacture overseas is the granting of numerous forms of state aid, relief from import taxes/restrictions etc. etc. The BMW and MB US plants are a classic example.
indian rovers? - flatfour
MG Rover Bye Bye, Ta Ta.
I've read all your comments and by all of our feelings this is not good for Rover.

 

Value my car